MANCHESTER events site GigList is branching out from promoting music into giving it a specific platform of its own with the launch of a sister label, Carrie: an imprint that aims to elevate and celebrate female musicians, producers, and female-presenting voices.
And Carrie is launching this midsummer morning with a first track from Yorkshire’s Soft Focus, the alias of Yorkshire multi-instrumentalist and producer Bianca Eddleston, who gathers to her the sheen and the softly trippy drama of the Stevie Nicks era of rock on her debut single, “Easy For Me”. Take a listen below.
Soft Focus is just the first of a procession of female artists that Carrie has lined up for the year and “Easy For Me” sees no less than former The Coral string-tickler and indie scion in his own right Bill Ryder Jones on co-production duties.
“‘Easy For Me’ is a phrase many friends have said to me when I’ve moaned about something in my life, like: ‘Oh B, it must be easy for you,'” says Bianca.
“It’s the way I was raised, too; if anything went wrong for me my mum would say ‘just think of such and such they have it so much harder than you’.
“It made me not trust my own emotions, I’m still learning to do that even now.”
Soft Focus became the debut artist on Carrie after reaching out from lockdown purdah in her hometown, the Calderdale artists’ enclave of Hebden Bridge, where she had turned to songwriting to help her through the viral isolation – during which she was also going through both a divorce and a wild love affair.
“I’ve struggled with PTSD and find it very hard to focus and stay present sometimes without dissociating and drifting away in my daydreams,” she says, revealing the genesis of the band’s name: “Soft Focus is a chance to step back from the relationship extremes and encourage some self-therapy, pointing a camera at myself.
“My songs are rarely about one thing,” she admits. But in the swirl and shimmer of “Easy For Me” you can sense the tail end of a doomed affair, sung with yearning grace from within the swaddling gauze of a dreamy rock-pop.
“When I record myself I do a lot of layering and have an abundance of instrumentals, so wanted to strip it back a bit more and remove some of the competing melodies and have it more vocal-led,” Bianca concludes; watch out for her album in the autumn.
Soft Focus’s “Easy For You” is out now on digital streaming platforms.